Life Story / Obituary
The youngest of three children, Elaine Million was born on May 19, 1940, in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. With World War II well underway overseas, America’s involvement was inevitable, and the first peacetime draft was put into place. The daughter of John Heeren, her father, along with his brothers owned a local produce company. Her mother, Cora (Schuur) Heeren remained at home with young Elaine and her two older siblings, John and Madeline. The Heeren family made their home on Grand Rapids Westside on VanBuren Street and later moved to a house on Fruitwood Street. A typical child of her generation, from her earliest years, Elaine was a trickster and a mischievous girl which remained throughout her days. A friend of many, she attended Sibley Elementary School before graduating from Union High School with the Class of 1958.
Following high school, Elaine landed a job as a secretary at WGRD radio station. She went on to graduate from Grand Rapids Junior college before taking a job with the Ottawa County Probate Court as a court stenographer and from where she would eventually retire. Elaine always loved the quaint lakeshore city of Grand Haven and moved there, making it her forever home. At the age if 20, Elaine met the man of her dreams, Arthur Million on a blind date. Like a match made in heaven, they began dating, fell in love and were happily married in September of 1960. Elaine continued working at the probate court while Arthur was employed as a computer programmer at a time when the world of computers was just being realized.
Although Elaine and Arthur never had children, they were devoted to their furry family. Always an animal lover, Elaine doted on the four canine companions they had over the years including Misty, Wendy, Bandit and Kimmy. In her free time, Elaine was an avid reader of romance novels and mysteries. When it came to watching television, she loved a good mystery and game shows, and the popular music of the times. Arthur as well as family and friends enjoyed Elaine’s wonderful cooking, especially her delicious Sunday dinners of roasts or chicken along with potatoes. When Elaine’s beloved husband of 46 years died of a sudden heart attack in 2006, Elaine was beside herself yet life went on for her. She saw her sister often, and together they spent two weeks each winter visiting their mother in Florida which made for memorable times.
With ways all her own, Elaine was a joy to know and love. Everyone loved her wonderful sense of humor and her mischievous ways. As a woman of God throughout her life, Elaine’s deep abiding faith in her Lord and Savior shown bright to all she encountered. Elaine especially clung to her faith in 2016 when she suffered a stroke which greatly diminished her health. It led to heart and kidney problems for which Elaine was hospitalized. Last August she began experiencing further difficulties and moved to Spectrum Health Care Center where she was placed under the care of Hospice two weeks ago. Elaine will be lovingly and fondly remembered for all that she was and more. Gone but never to be forgotten are the numerous memories she leaves behind.
Elaine Million (Heeren), aged 76 of Grand Rapids, passed away on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at Spectrum Health Care and Rehab Facility. She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Cora Heeren; her husband, Arthur Million; her brother, John (Charlene) Heeren; her brother-in-law, Richard Thwaites, her niece, Darlene McCarthy; and nephew, Tom (Becky) Heeren. She is survived by her sister, Madeline Thwaites; her nephews and nieces, Timothy Thwaites, Joseph McCarthy, Jim (Jan) Heeren, Steve Heeren, Cheryl (Wayne) Flanders, Dan (Jill) Heeren;; many other relatives and many friends. A service to celebrate Elaine’s life will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2017, 10:00 am at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Burial in Rosedale Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet her family at the funeral home on Saturday from 9:00 am until the service begins at 10:00 am. To read more about Elaine’s life, to sign her guest book and to leave your own memory of her, please visit her web page at www.lifestorynet.com.